Tag Archives: buyers

City and CSD to Open Warming Center in Elk Grove

(City of Elk Grove Press Release, December 4, 2013)

City of Elk Grove
City of Elk Grove

Elk Grove — In response to the forecasted night temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s, the  City of 
Elk Grove and Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) have opened a warming center in Elk Grove 
as a proactive safety precaution for residents who may be unsheltered or living in homes without heat.   

The warming center, located at the Barbara Morse Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex at 9014 
Bruceville Road, will be open from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  The warming 
center may remain longer, depending on weather conditions.  The situation will be monitored daily and 
the public will be updated in conjunction with the City and County of Sacramento and County Office of 
Emergency Services.   

The warming centers will offer seating and a heated room that will provide shelter from the cold 
temperatures.  The warming center will be operated by CSD staff.  The Barbara Morse Wackford 
Community & Aquatic Complex facility can accommodate pets.   

Besides a warming center, other options to stay warm include stores, community centers, public 
libraries, coffee shops and family and friends’ homes.   
Sacramento County recommends the following advice to stay warm during freezing temperatures:   

Loved Ones: 

  • Check on your family, neighbors and seniors, especially those living alone 
  • Make sure your pets are secure and safe out of the elements  
  • Discuss emergency plans in advance  

Keep an emergency kit in an easy‐access location 

Around the House and in Your Car: 

  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts  
  • Store outdoor furniture, lawn equipment, decorations properly  
  • Secure outdoor plants or cover with blankets or plastic to prevent freezing  
  • Learn where your water shutoff valves are in case a pipe bursts  
  • Do not bring heating devices in doors that are intended for outdoor use, such as barbecues or other fuel‐burning devices  
  • Insulate pipes and allow faucetsto drip during cold weatherto avoid freezing  
  • Prepare your auto for cold weather      
  • Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle 
  • Drive safely and slowly 
  • Avoid downed power lines  

Additional cold weather preparedness tips can be found on www.SacramentoReady.org.  For more 
information about emergency preparedness, visit www.elkgrovecity.org/ep or contact City of Elk Grove 
Emergency Manager Don Stangle at 478‐3610 or dstangle@elkgrovecity.org.  

Improve Your Chances in Multiple Offer Situations

multiple-offers, Sacramento Listing Agent, Elk Grove Listing Agent
multiple-offers, Sacramento Listing Agent, Elk Grove Listing Agent
(Guest article, Dian Hymer – Client Direct)

Some buyers in hot markets with a low inventory of homes for sale are losing out over and over in multiple-offer competitions. You can improve your chances of having an offer accepted by clearing up any issues that might cause a seller to look askance at your offer when compared to one from another buyer.

If your purchase offer is littered with contingencies that protect you, the sellers are more likely to see the contract as risky, especially if they are looking at other offers that contain fewer contingencies.

A clean contract is free of contingencies, which can give buyers a competitive advantage, especially if they are offering less than full price or are in competition with other buyers.

Timing is everything in the home sale business. Buyers often lose out on the opportunity to make an offer on a listing because they are traveling for business or vacation. One partner may see the home of their dreams, but the other won’t be back in town to take a look for days or weeks.

Making an offer contingent on the absentee buyer’s approval of a property is risky from the seller’s standpoint. If the seller accepts the offer, he takes his home off the market not knowing if the absentee buyer will like the house enough to buy it.

It would be very difficult to get such an offer accepted if there are multiple offers from buyers who have all seen the property. The Internet can give a great introduction to a listing, but it usually doesn’t include photos of items that might cause you to pass on the property, like a neighbor’s home that is in poor repair or a location close to a noisy freeway.

Some buyers buy property without having seen it. To get an offer accepted, these offers usually have a generous price, and close quickly. The buyers may later find problems that they could have discovered had they seen the property before making an offer. It’s better for both buyers and sellers if all potential buyers have seen the property before an offer is made.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Try to anticipate if there is any condition of your home purchase that would cause the sellers to shy away from accepting or countering your offer. If such conditions exist, try to address them before you make an offer.

For example, let’s say your parents are willing to give you a large amount of cash for a down payment to make your offer more competitive. Make sure this will be acceptable to your mortgage lender.

Find out what verification the lender will require from your parents. If the lender needs a gift letter that stipulates you don’t need to repay the money, have your parents write this letter and include a copy with your offer.

Sellers are always concerned about the buyer’s financial capability to close the transaction. Your offer should include a letter from your lender stating that you are preapproved for the financing that you need. The letter should stipulate that the lender has verified the cash you need for the down payment and closing costs.

If the verification of funds needed to close is not included in the preapproval letter, make a copy of a bank or brokerage statement that verifies the amount you need. Black out the account number and include a copy of this with your offer.

In some areas, buyers are making offers without any contingencies. That is as clean as it gets. However, there can be problems with contingency-free offers. Buyers can feel pressured into waiving an inspection contingency because they’re sure they can’t compete unless they do. The sellers could end up in a legal hassle with the buyers after closing if problems arise that weren’t disclosed to them.

THE CLOSING: Buyers should ask the sellers for permission to preinspect the property before they make an offer without an inspection contingency.

Don’t lower your standards just because homes are scarce

Elk Grove, Sacramento, Short Sales, SOLD
Elk Grove, Sacramento, Short Sales, SOLD

(Guest article, Dian Hymer – Client Direct)

In low-inventory markets that are now common in many areas of the country, buyers might be prone to jump at a listing they wouldn’t even consider if there were a lot of homes for sale.

This desperate approach to homebuying could cause you problems down the line when you need to sell and you realize you paid too much, overlooked property problems, or bought in the wrong location.

A listing that has been on the market for a long time could indicate a problem. Is the listing not selling because it’s priced too high and the seller is stuck unreasonably at a high price?

Does the property have problems that can’t be remedied for a reasonable price? Or is the deferred maintenance so widespread that buyers are turned off, particularly if the listing is priced too high for the market and the amount of work that’s required?

In some areas, it could be none of the above. The reason the listing hasn’t sold could have to do with a slow market where it takes a long time for listings to sell, particularly if they are at the high end of the market.

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS: Before taking the leap and writing an offer on a listing that has been on the market awhile, find out why it hasn’t been selling. Ask the listing agent if the seller has received offers and why they didn’t end in a ratified contract.

The seller’s agent may be reluctant to have this discussion. In that case, let your agent know what price you’d be willing to offer. Ask your agent to find out if the seller’s agent thinks it’s worthwhile to make an offer.

Listing agents usually want to take a low offer to the seller in writing. So you may have to go through this process to even find out if there’s a chance of buying the listing for a reasonable price.

The seller could flatly turn the offer down. But if the listing doesn’t sell for several more months, the seller might soften her stance.

A listing that is difficult to get in to see is another red flag. Does the seller really want to sell? If not, you could waste a lot of time trying to buy a home you’d love to own, but end up with nothing but frustration.

Another type of listing to be wary of is one that is on and off the market repeatedly. This is typical behavior of a seller who wants to sell only for a certain price that is too high for the market. It is also characteristic of homeowners who want to sell only if they have a place to move to and they can’t afford to buy another home until they’ve sold their current home.

These are maybe sellers who can also waste a lot of your time and emotional energy. Some sellers try to sell contingent on finding a replacement home. If you go into contract to buy a home with this contingency, you should also have a contingency in the contract that lets you out of the contract if you find another home to buy before the sellers find a replacement home. You should also get a break on the price to compensate for the uncertainty.

A listing that has been back on the market (BOM) over and over could signify a problem. Find out the reason why the deals didn’t stay together. Was the seller unrealistic about negotiating on defects discovered during inspections? Was there a problem with the buyer’s financing? Did the appraisal come in low? Or was it just the seller’s bad luck.

THE CLOSING: For peace of mind, investigate carefully before you buy.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

How Does A Short Sale With A Second Loan Affect A Buyer?

Elk Grove, CA Real Estate - Short Sales
Elk Grove, CA Real Estate – Short Sales
A great question. This question was recently asked of me and I thought I would share the information with you all.

The Jr Lienholder in the past has been very difficult to deal with. However, recently, most Jr Lienholders are very cooperative in the short sale approval process. This is due to new laws (state and federal) and incentives being offered to the Jr Lienholder for their cooperation.

For example, the jr lienholder currently can be offered up to $8500 through the HAFA short sale program (if the seller qualfies for the program). In addition, there is typically an unspoken threshhold which the Sr Lienholder is already willing to go to offer a payoff to the Jr Lienholder. So, it is safe to say that there is already some money there for the Jr Lienholder, most of the time, not always.

Then you have the Jr Lienhodler from hell, like Franklin Credit. I must say, it took over one year (and I’m assuming some personnel turnover) to get them to approve as Jr Lienholder on a file we closed several years ago. Needless to say, things with them have not changed. I was contacted by an agent from So Cal who was going through a very similar and painful experience with Frankline Credit – their tactics have not changed. They are a mostly non-negotiable, non-cooperative, non-customer friendly credit collector. I don’t mean to sound so negative about them, but these are the facts. If things have changed with them and I am wrong, please, please, please correct me.

So, how do you prepare a buyer going into a short sale situation with a jr lienholder? In our Short Sale Offer Submisison Addendum, we let the buyer know that there may be a possibility that they may be asked to pay any additional fees which the Sr Lienholder does not approve, as long as the Sr Lienholder approves of the buyer paying those fees. That normally works out fine. When we are negotiating a short sale, we always begin negotiations with a small amount to the Jr Lienholder ($3000). That is traditionally the standard amount most Sr lienholders will approve to the Jr Lienholder. From there, if the Jr requires more, we submit that to the Sr lienholder first, then if more cash is required, we go to the buyer. Buyer is lready prepared, so no surprises there.

However, most Jr Lienholders that I am dealing with will now accept the standard $3000 payoff. Not always the case, but we can usually work something out if they require more.

Note also that SB 458 prohibits the seller from being required to make a contribution to the sale in order to attain an approval. It is the seller’s discretion as to whether they are able and willing to contribute In most cases the seller is not in a finanical position to make a contribution.

So the above are a few ways in which you can prepare yourself as a buyer, or buyer’s agent when representing a buyer in a short sale, and contending with the Jr Lienholder. If my colleagues out there have any additional advice to offer, I’d be happy to hear about it!